Friday, July 12, 2024

Keep Thy Heart with All Diligence in Social Media Use


by Susan Hall

Philippians 4:8, Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Proverbs 4:23, Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

One Sunday morning, I stayed home from church with some of my sick children. As I lay on the couch resting, I checked my phone and noticed a new person began following one of my Pinterest boards. The last name was the same as friends of our family, and I wondered if I knew her. I clicked on her “About” page but could not tell by the description if she indeed was the person of whom I was thinking. Since it seemed as though we both had something in common, I decided to check out her boards to help determine whether or not she was the friend I thought she might be.

I was so horrified by what I saw, I knew right away that she was not associated with the Christian friends of ours, as I had previously thought. In a small font was the vulgar name of one of her Pinterest boards. I was shocked! I quickly closed the app and lay there processing what I had just unwillingly seen.

It was then that the devil stepped in and began saying to my mind, “Go ahead and click on that board. Just check it out.” The temptation was there. I was alone. It was quiet. No one would know.

“No. Get thee behind me, Satan!” I began mentally and verbally repeating, “Think on things that are pure, lovely, honest, true, of good report.” I knew nothing on that board would be pure, lovely, good—none of it! I imagined how ashamed I would feel if I viewed that board and then when my husband came home later, I concealed my indiscretion from him. Oh, how ashamed God would be of me!

I praise the Lord that He helped me have victory over that temptation that day. I did not take a second look. I did not give in to the devil’s terrible temptation.

Proverbs 4:23 says, Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Social media can have a sinful effect on our hearts and minds, thus leading to issues in our lives of lust, immorality, deception, lies, and even pornography. Below are some thoughts that raced through my mind as I contemplated HOW to keep my heart more diligently in regard to social media.

I will give God the very first moments of my morning.

Psalm 63:1 says, O GOD, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; I praise the Lord that I had completed my praise, prayer, and Bible reading time that morning before this temptation came. I was stronger because of being with the Lord that morning.

I will guard my eyes, especially when I am alone.

Just as David was tempted when he was alone and was not where he “should” have been, we must be on guard to temptations when we are alone throughout our days. We must guard our eyes. Just as the children’s church song says, we must: “Be careful little eyes what you see; for the Father up above is looking down in love! Oh, be careful little eyes what you see!”

I will commit now to no second glances, looks, or clicks.

We must put on our automatic blinders. As soon as something is flashed before us, whether on the computer, phone, billboard sign, business advertisement, while walking down the street, in the check-out lane, or in a clothing store, we must decide now that we will look away and take absolutely no second looks, glances, or clicks!

I will have Scripture memorized and hidden in my heart.

Psalm 119:11 says, Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. The Word of God is our Sword. In Matthew 4, Jesus was tempted by the devil, and Jesus defeated him by quoting Scripture. When we are tempted, we can verbally quote Scriptures that are hidden in our hearts to rebuke the devil. We can pray for Jesus to help us keep our minds and hearts clean while we fight the temptation to sin. He will provide a way for us to escape temptation. I Corinthians 10:13 says, There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. On that morning, I did exactly what this verse says. I quoted verses and asked for Jesus to help me until I no longer felt temptation!

We can give God the victory and praise Him for helping us to overcome the temptation.

Let us praise the Lord for protecting us in our moments of temptation! I was so thankful that day to know that I had not taken the second look or first click!

We should confess and profess.

It may be helpful to let our spouses know when a temptation has come our way. Keeping lines of communication open can be beneficial. I felt it was important to share with my husband the situation, letting him know that I did not take a second glance or the first click. I shared how thankful I was for how the Lord had helped me to overcome it.

Be aware that all social media platforms can lead to sin.

I could list each one individually, but it is safe to say that these platforms all have wicked, sinful, disgusting filth and immorality on them. Even though they are fun and helpful and provide ways to keep in touch with family and friends, temptation is imminent. I Peter 5:8 says, Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Unfortunately, not everyone is as friendly and as pure as our own family and friends! We must be aware of how quickly our teenage sons or daughters can innocently “click” on a pin, image, or post of which they do not realize the potential temptation or sin. Even comments on these sites are at times ungodly and vulgar. We must ask ourselves, “Am I guarding and helping my child keep a clean and pure heart by giving them free access to these four social media outlets?” We are fooling ourselves to think our children are strong enough to handle the temptations that the devil brings their way. That day of temptation was a reminder for me to know the state of my “flock” and encouraged me to be even more diligent to help guard their hearts and minds. I am a middle-aged lady, and even to me the temptation was real. How can a child or teenager handle the temptation? Have we prepared them to overcome the temptations and to have victory through Jesus Christ in overcoming temptations? I once had a good friend share the hindsight she had of a wayward child. She said if she could go back, she would not have given him his own cell phone. Interestingly, at that time, there was not even internet access on the cell phone. There was just calling and texting. She warned me of the dangers of cell phones and texting alone. Now, just a few years later, our children are bombarded with so many more social media outlets.

Let us all be sober and be diligent! Let us make a fresh commitment to keep our hearts more diligently in regard to the potential dangers that accompany social media use.

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